Grow a Team to Help You Focus on Your Expertise
If you want to grow your business, it’s important to also grow a great team of people to help you. These assistants and specialists may be virtual or on-site, full or part-time, depending on your needs, your budget and your business structure.
How many assistants or specialists you need is dependent on the nature and amount of work to first make your business foundation solid and second to take your business to the next level.
Many small business owners get bogged down in trying to “do it all” themselves—never hiring, never delegating.
And thus, they never grow. They wonder why.
Here’s the core reason: They are so caught up in running all the diddly details of the business they have no time to focus on their expertise—creating new materials or products, creating a relationship with potential clients and referral sources. It’s your expertise that your clients need and want from you. It’s also what they are willing to pay you for.
Successful Leaders Surround Themselves with a Savvy Team
As a successful leader you hire highly qualified people that are right for the job.
As a successful leader you train thoroughly, delegate clearly and manage skillfully. You also know when to add to your team because your business will profit from doing so. And you know when to let someone go if they are holding you back or not adding value.
As a successful leader you also know when you need someone to oversee your team projects while you are free to focus on the creative work the team helps you to carry out. Again, this is because such systems create greater profits for your company freeing you to meet the needs of your clients and to enjoy the life you desire.
- If you are in a company you may manage an entire department or team of people.
- If you are a new entrepreneur you may have a very small team consisting of you and a virtual assistant, technology/computer specialist, bookkeeper and/or accountant, and a lawyer you call on infrequently.
- If you are small business owner itching to expand you probably have similar people in place but you are feeling the squeeze and know you need to expand your team.
Here are a set of questions to ask as you expand or course-correct your leadership and your team:
1. Who are the people on your current “team?”
Make a list:
Are they on-board with your business mission and goals? Have you trained them thoroughly? Is each individual self-directed, able to take on tasks and run with them to completion? Are they able and willing to work together as needed? Do you both communicate so they know exactly what you want them to do and do they follow through so you can focus on your creative expertise?
Make notes of any gaps your team members may have in follow-through, communication, or being self-motivated and self-directed as needed.
Also indicate where you, as team leader, may need to tighten your training or your systems for communicating who-what-when-where-why-and how you want things to get done.
2. What systems do you have in place to document each and every task or function should one of your team members leave?
Document and Back-Up:
This is especially necessary for small businesses with part-time or virtual staff members.
What back-up systems do you have in place if one team member leaves, gets sick or goes on vacation?
Create a “How-To” Manual for every task in your business.
3. What are the gaps in “tasks-that-need-to-get-done?” These are tasks you pick up that you really should delegate to someone else as soon as your budget allows.
Get ready to hire the minute you can:
Write a job description complete with hourly pay for contract work (such as a Virtual Assistant or bookkeeper.) Compare this salary with the savings you will make if you devote your time spent at your hourly rate if you are doing your expert work.
You may soon see that two-four-six hours per week with a good assistant who loves what they do pays off in greater profits coming in to you.
Consider who you would hire and even interview, so that when the moment is right you may already have someone in mind. You’ll be glad you did.
4. Now, make a list of personal tasks you can delegate or hire out when your budget allows.
Do you really need to do the laundry or the cleaning?
This is where most people get squeamish. “Oh but it really doesn’t take that long to do the laundry…or run to the grocery store…or pick up the dry cleaning…..”
Do this for just one week and I swear you may start to think differently. Keep track of all the tasks you do and time involved in attending to personal and family upkeep—or don’t do. Especially if you office at home full or part-time, because we know you take time here and there to handle household chores, now don’t you! (I know. I have a home office too!)
Think about what else you could be accomplishing if you focused solely on your business. Or maybe you’d spend some time on self care—seeing a friend or exercising which are supposed to be perks of running your own business vs trading business chores for household chores.
So this list—uncensored—might include a cook, housekeeper, grocery delivery services, dry clean delivery, lawn services, dog walker poop-picker-upper, auto detailer/servicer, laundry washing folding ironing, gift buyers and wrappers, errand running and so on.
Now these services may not be affordable right now, or you may need to delegate to family members and share the tasks. And there are many able and willing folks out there who would just love to support your big picture business growth by providing these services, freeing you to offer your much higher paying expert services to those who really need you!
Keep these lists nearby. If you’re experience is like mine, when you get clear about what you’d like to delegate, chances are it will happen sooner rather than later.
You and your business will profit!